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Social Networking

July 26, 2010 | By Cyndia Zwahlen
Back in 1912, when the Venice Beach Suites & Hotel was built on Ocean Front Walk, the only tweeting going on was among the local bird population. Today, owner Andy Layman is listening to the online chorus at Twitter and other social networking websites, hoping to join in. Learning to hit the right notes to attract new guests and boost revenue at his boardwalk property is a daunting prospect. "I haven't really gotten a handle on it," said Layman, 62. Yet, done right, he believes social media would be an inexpensive way to find more of the type of traveler who already raves online about his eclectic, 25-room location.
June 20, 2012 | By Jessica Guynn and Michelle Maltais, Los Angeles Times
SAN FRANCISCO - It's every parent's worst nightmare: Three adults pretending to be teenagers contacted kids on the mobile social networking app Skout and sexually assaulted them in three separate incidents, police say. Skout Inc. shut down its forum for 13- to-17-year-olds last week and assigned a team of security specialists to determine whether it can make the app safe for teens. If not, the San Francisco company plans to close that forum for good. The alleged assaults on two girls, ages 12 and 15, and on a 13-year-old boy underscore how tough it can be to keep kids safe on a new generation of mobile apps.
February 1, 2012 | Nathaniel Popper and Jessica Guynn, Los Angeles Times
Facebook has filed papers for what's expected to be the largest initial public offering ever to come out of Silicon Valley and one of the largest in U.S. history. Ending months of breathless speculation, the 8-year-old social networking company has submitted registration documents with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that set a preliminary goal of raising $5 billion. Facebook is expected to be valued at $75 billion to $100 billion. Final pricing will not be set for months, and the size of the IPO probably will increase with investor demand.
May 13, 2011 | By David Sarno, Los Angeles Times
Facebook Inc.'s efforts to portray itself as a trustworthy guardian of the Internet's town square are being undermined — once again — by accusations that the social network launched a covert smear campaign against rival Google Inc. The world's largest online network acknowledged Thursday that it had paid a high-powered public relations firm to push news organizations to report that a new Google feature was putting users' personal data in...
March 7, 2012 | By Jessica Guynn, Los Angeles Times
Israeli President Shimon Peres praised Facebook Inc. as a vehicle for social change during a visit to the social networking company's Menlo Park, Calif., campus. Peres, 88, came to Facebook on Tuesday to launch his official personal page on the site that he hopes will open a dialogue with Arabs throughout the world and to meet with Facebook founder and Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg. "The matter of peace is no longer the business of governments but the business of people," Peres told Facebook's chief operating officer, Sheryl Sandberg, in an interview streamed live on Facebook.
June 4, 2011 | By Bridget Carey
Entrepreneur Mykalai Kontilai's August purchase of the long-running public TV show "Nightly Business Report" came as a surprise. The San Diego-based Kontilai's background as a celebrity martial artists' manager and distributor of instructional television shows made him an unlikely buyer. And in the nine months since he bought the show from WPBT-PBS2 in Miami, Kontilai has revealed few details regarding plans for the 30-year-old weeknight business wrap-up show. But in a recent interview at the show's North Miami studio, Kontilai — who owns the show with partner Gary L. Ferrell under the corporate name of NBR Worldwide — spoke more about expanding the show's brand and audience.
March 26, 2010 | By Jenn Garbee
After unpacking takeout from a nearby diner, Eileen Funke knocks on the glass doors of several group work spaces flanking the communal lounge at the Writers Junction, a membership-based office that opened recently in Santa Monica. "Lunch is here," announces Funke, whose self-appointed duties as co-owner and general manager include orchestrating occasional group lunches. Poet Ashaki Jackson emerges from one of the designated "quiet" rooms, where talking and cellphones are not permitted, and settles into the dining chair next to Funke and Alyss Dixson, a former Paramount Pictures production vice president-turned-novelist.
April 27, 2010 | By Jessica Guynn, Reporting from San Francisco
Lawmakers and privacy watchdogs are asking Facebook Inc. to roll back a new feature that they say invades the privacy of the popular online social network's more than 400 million users. Adding to controversy over the new feature, four U.S. senators objected Tuesday to Facebook sharing users' personal information with other websites without the explicit consent of the users. They want Facebook to ask users to "opt into" the feature that personalizes content on three other websites rather than "opt out" of it. "Social networking sites have become the Wild West of the Internet," Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.
November 4, 2010 | By Jessica Guynn, Los Angeles Times
Facebook denied rumors that it was developing its own phone Wednesday, but it did announce it was rolling out an ambitious bid to extend its popularity on the desktop to mobile phones. The social networking company said a new Deals feature would allow merchants to deliver coupons and specials to Facebook users' phones. One of its first 22 partners is Gap, which is running a campaign that offers a free pair of jeans to the first 10,000 users who check into their local Gap store.
July 1, 2012 | By Jessica Guynn, Los Angeles Times
The gig: June was a busy month for David Sacks, chief executive of Yammer, which helps companies create private social networks where employees can chat, share documents and work together on projects. First, Sacks rented the Fleur de Lys mansion in Los Angeles and threw himself a lavish "Let him eat cake" Marie Antoinette-themed costume party for his 40th birthday with hundreds of friends including Snoop Dogg. Then just this past week he sold his 4-year-old San Francisco start-up to Microsoft for $1.2 billion in an all-cash deal.
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